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Old 10-31-2012, 01:20 AM   #1
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Replacing Coupler on SS

I am having the 2" coupler on my '69 Silver Streak Rocket Deluxe replaced. The place where I'm having it done tells me I need to go up to 2 5/16 coupler because the current 2" couplers are rated for only 5,000 lbs. That's all fine except I just bought an Andersen no-sway hitch with a 2" ball. I would have to replace their proprietary, and most likely expensive, 2" ball with a 2 5/16" one.

I'm not sure the repair place would even put on a 2" coupler if I insisted because of safety/liability reasons since the rating is lower than my trailer weight.

Question: Is it really unsafe to have a new 2" coupler installed on my trailer?

Thanks,

Chris
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:07 AM   #2
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Yes, spend the extra bucks. The safety hazard extends beyond you to everyone else around you if there is a hitch failure. As a practical matter, your liability would be WAY more than the cost of a 2 5/16" ball in the event of a problem.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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I would get a second opinion from another shop. Seems the 2 inch coupler worked just fine for all these years.
This is just one example of many that I found using GOOGLE of a 2 inch 8000 lb coupler
http://www.southwestwheel.com/store/...3805w0317.aspx
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:50 AM   #4
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The coupler should have a rating on it along with the hitch. Whatever you use, make sure the rating is higher than your needs. There are heavier duty rated 2" couplers, but the reason that your installer may be concerned, is not for the coupler, but the hitch. There are some 2" hitches that aren't very strong. Most 2-5/16" hitches are much stronger. I like the 2-5/16" setup better, but that doesn't mean that there are not 2" setups that will work.

By the way, what is the gross weight rating of your trailer?
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:52 AM   #5
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We all of us run into the problem described as to money. It's part of owning a house, a car, etc.

Do it correctly and get the 2-5/16" coupler.

And the ANDERSEN hitch has yet to show itself capable of properly distributing the tongue weight of a TT as heavy as this. (8k GVWR most years). Looks to be okay for a light trailer, but that's it. Get something proven as part of fixing the above problem.

And, so long as a certified welder is to be called upon, the safety chain attachment at TT and TV should be made new.

.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
I would get a second opinion from another shop. Seems the 2 inch coupler worked just fine for all these years.
This is just one example of many that I found using GOOGLE of a 2 inch 8000 lb coupler
http://www.southwestwheel.com/store/...3805w0317.aspx
I agree but I do want to be as safe as possible. I'm sure the couplers today are just as strong as they were 43 years ago but they backed off the weight rating for some reason.
Also, it looks like the 2" couper rated for 8,000 lbs. is about $60-$70 more than a 2 5/16 rated for 10,000 lbs. That's about what a new ball would cost.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
We all of us run into the problem described as to money. It's part of owning a house, a car, etc.

Do it correctly and get the 2-5/16" coupler.

And the ANDERSEN hitch has yet to show itself capable of properly distributing the tongue weight of a TT as heavy as this. (8k GVWR most years). Looks to be okay for a light trailer, but that's it. Get something proven as part of fixing the above problem.

And, so long as a certified welder is to be called upon, the safety chain attachment at TT and TV should be made new.

.
With an 8,000# trailer, I would definitely go with a 2-5/16 coupler. I would go with a 2-5/16" coupler for anything over 5,000# just to be safe. My last trailer I built was rated at 7,000# and I used a 2-5/16" coupler rated at 25,000#. It may be overkill, but it was free since I already had it. Besides, the heavy ones don't look much different than the weaker ones.

Rednax has another good point. I like to weld on new safety chains onto the frame of the tongue when I change out an old coupler. The price difference is minimal for good chain. There are different grades of chain. Get good, heavy chain. Besides, good, heavy chain is easy to stick weld on.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
We all of us run into the problem described as to money. It's part of owning a house, a car, etc.

Do it correctly and get the 2-5/16" coupler.

And the ANDERSEN hitch has yet to show itself capable of properly distributing the tongue weight of a TT as heavy as this. (8k GVWR most years). Looks to be okay for a light trailer, but that's it. Get something proven as part of fixing the above problem.

And, so long as a certified welder is to be called upon, the safety chain attachment at TT and TV should be made new.

.
The jury is in. A 2 5/16" it is.
I am also getting new safety chains, brakes serviced or replaced, new breakaway switch, new tongue jack, new 7 blade connector cable.

Hopefully the ANDERSEN hitch will work out. It's been fine so far with the trailer relatively empty...
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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The adjusted empty weight of a TT is with full propane, full fresh water and equipment that remains aboard permanently. Both axle and tongue weight are useful numbers to gather (same as with the TV, where "empty" is the scale weight with driver, full fuel, and permanent equipment aboard. Payload of the TV is determined by this). The certified weight scale is the only way to truly get best performance: a numerical baseline from which any changes can be quantified.

As before, add to your list an axle alignment, complete overhaul of springs, spring attachments, and new shock absorbers (or add them, optional on some SS trailers).
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:10 AM   #10
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Chris, I think that you will find that the Andersen will continue to work just fine as it certainly has been proven to work on travel and utility trailers of all sizes.
Have you checked with Andersen to see what a new ball will run you?
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:46 PM   #11
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Sorry, not "proven". Not by any means, especially on a larger trailer (as the OP has). We may wish that it had proved out (I am interested in one as a second hitch to go and retrieve other trailers), but it has not.

Andrew_T on the Andersen

" . . Basically the weight distribution system is a lever you use to pry weight forward. If you want complete weight transfer then I think this is just too small a lever for the job at hand."

Even the cheapest friction bar WDH can do that most basic of jobs. WD is required and anti-sway is optional (though all recommend it). The ANDERSEN doesn't meet even this simplest of tests.

If an ANDERSEN can be properly set up on a certified weight scale with a larger rig, then all to the good. Doesn't look like likely, though, as this TT likely has a TW of from 7-800/lbs (and possibly higher).

.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
Sorry, not "proven". Not by any means, especially on a larger trailer (as the OP has). We may wish that it had proved out (I am interested in one as a second hitch to go and retrieve other trailers), but it has not.

Andrew_T on the Andersen

" . . Basically the weight distribution system is a lever you use to pry weight forward. If you want complete weight transfer then I think this is just too small a lever for the job at hand."

Even the cheapest friction bar WDH can do that most basic of jobs. WD is required and anti-sway is optional (though all recommend it). The ANDERSEN doesn't meet even this simplest of tests.

If an ANDERSEN can be properly set up on a certified weight scale with a larger rig, then all to the good. Doesn't look like likely, though, as this TT likely has a TW of from 7-800/lbs (and possibly higher).

.
What would "prove" it to you? Howie E has a 34' Airstream tri axle and has no problems with the Andersen. My Argosy has a 700# tongue weight and sets up just fine with the Andersen, and tows the best it has ever towed, with two other WD hitches in my past experiences, a Reese square bar and a Draw Tight round bar system.

There are dozens of people here who have set up their rigs with the Andersen and have very favorable reports. One setup by Andrew T, which no on else who has used the Andersen feels was done right, is the one "test" you have latched on to, and ignored all of the other positive results.

I cannot understand why some are so dead set against the hitch. It is simple, lightweight, and effective. What are you afraid of? Buy one, they are only about $400, and give it a try.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
Sorry, not "proven". Not by any means, especially on a larger trailer (as the OP has). We may wish that it had proved out (I am interested in one as a second hitch to go and retrieve other trailers), but it has not.

Andrew_T on the Andersen

" . . Basically the weight distribution system is a lever you use to pry weight forward. If you want complete weight transfer then I think this is just too small a lever for the job at hand."

Even the cheapest friction bar WDH can do that most basic of jobs. WD is required and anti-sway is optional (though all recommend it). The ANDERSEN doesn't meet even this simplest of tests.

If an ANDERSEN can be properly set up on a certified weight scale with a larger rig, then all to the good. Doesn't look like likely, though, as this TT likely has a TW of from 7-800/lbs (and possibly higher).

.
Steve, the Andersen hitch works very well, no problems distributing weight if you set it up according to mfg directions. That is, apply the tension before stowing the tongue jack. I wonder if Andrew T. and others have done that. Here we are in the middle of the 3,500 mile trip we just completed from MN through eastern mountain ranges to the coast then back to Arizona. We are backed a bit downhill here but the trailer is level and the headlights shine straight ahead.

The setup is painfully simple for those who like numbers, only one adjustment and that is the height of the hitch ball. After that you apply the predetermined tension using wheel well measurements (no weight on the ball) to level your trailer and get the truck back to normal attitude, then stow the tongue jack. No I have not been to a certified scale because there is no further adjustment to make.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by M2HB View Post
The coupler should have a rating on it along with the hitch. Whatever you use, make sure the rating is higher than your needs. There are heavier duty rated 2" couplers, but the reason that your installer may be concerned, is not for the coupler, but the hitch. There are some 2" hitches that aren't very strong. Most 2-5/16" hitches are much stronger. I like the 2-5/16" setup better, but that doesn't mean that there are not 2" setups that will work.

By the way, what is the gross weight rating of your trailer?
The Gross weight rating is 8,000.
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